The Importance of Healthy Fats

Healthy fats area vital part of a healthy diet. Your body needs fat in order to use the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Your body needs healthy fats for proper brain function, supporting your immune system, blood clotting and more.

Here’s some news about healthy fats including one of the very best and that I highly recommend, Coconut Oil!!

Avocados

You will likely think “Holy Guacamole!” (sorry) when you hear that one medium avocado contains 30 grams of fat, but most of that fat is the heart-healthy monounsaturated kind. An easy way to work avocados into your diet doesn’t have to involve tortilla chips, which are processed and may contain nasty trans fats. Mash part of a ripe avocado and use it as a sandwich spread, in lieu of mayo, or on hot toast, instead of butter; a sprinkling of sea salt and maybe a little chopped cilantro takes breakfast over the top.

Almonds and Walnuts 

Who knew? A recent study by the USDA has shown that almonds, a rich source of vitamin E, have 20 percent fewer calories than previously thought. What sets walnuts apart is the fact that they are the only nut that contains a significant amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids. And according to a 2011 study published in the journalFood and Function, the antioxidants in walnuts rank higher in terms of quality and quantity than any other nut.

Anchovies and Sardines

Eating little wild fish such as anchovies and sardines makes good nutritional sense—they are high in omega-3 fatty acids (which the human body can’t produce), protein, B vitamins, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and the compound DMAE, which may improve brain function—and it’s good for our oceans as well.

Eggs

Time was, the Food Police thought the humble egg raised cholesterol, but that thinking proved to be incorrect for most people. Yay! Eggs are one of the easieset, and least inexpensive sources of healthy fats as well as protein. One large whole egg contains 5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of which are saturated. Most of the fat is contained in the yolk, but before you commit to a lifetime of scrambled egg whites, know that the yolk is also a very good source of choline, a B vitamin that helps keep your brain, nervous system, and cardiovascular system in tip-top shape. If you have a choice, go for eggs from a local producer at your farmers market; if his or her hens are truly “pastured”—that is, allowed to hunt and peck on grass—the more flavorful the eggs will be, and the more omega-3s they’ll contain.

Grass-Fed Beef

When steers live their entire lives on pasture, they have more diverse diets (that means grass, not corn), thus their meat is much higher in omega-3s and lower in saturated fats. For a more in-depth look at what the term “grass-fed” really means, click here.

Olive Oil and Olives

We’ve all heard about the wonders of the Mediterranean diet. One of its traditional underpinnings is olive oil, a source of monounsaturated fats. No matter what cooking oil you prefer, though, be aware that every oil contains 120 calories per tablespoon. Now, a handful of green or black olives makes a satisfying snack. Less than 100 calories worth—about 20 small black olives—contains iron, fiber, vitamin E, and copper.

The Tropics’ Best Kept Secret

The truth about coconut oil is obvious to anyone who has studied the health of those who live in native tropical cultures, where coconut has been a primary dietary staple for thousands of years.

Back in the 1930s, Dr. Weston Price found South Pacific Islanders whose diets were high in coconut to be healthy and trim, despite high dietary fat, and heart disease was virtually non-existent. Similarly, in 1981, researchers studying two Polynesian communities for whom coconut was the primary caloric energy source found them to have excellent cardiovascular health and fitness.

It may be surprising for you to learn that the naturally occurring saturated fat in coconut oil is actually good for you and provides a number of profound health benefits, such as:

• Improving your heart health.
• Boosting your thyroid.
• Increasing your metabolism.
• Promoting a lean body and weight loss if needed.
• Supporting your immune system.

Coconut oil even benefits your skin when applied topically and has been found to have anti-aging, regenerative effects.

How Coconut Oil Works Wonders in Your Body

Nearly 50 percent of the fat in coconut oil is of a type rarely found in nature called lauric acid, a “miracle” compound because of its unique health promoting properties. Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-protozoa properties.

Coconut oil is also nature’s richest source of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), also called medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs. By contrast, most common vegetable or seed oils are comprised of long chain fatty acids (LCFAs), also known as long-chain triglycerides or LCTs.

LCTs are large molecules, so they are difficult for your body to break down and are predominantly stored as fat.

But MCT’s , being smaller, are easily digested and immediately burned by your liver for energy — like carbohydrates, but without the insulin spike. MCTs actually boost your metabolism and help your body use fat for energy, as opposed to storing it, so it can actually help you become leaner.

Coconut oil has actually been shown to help optimize body weight, which can dramatically reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Besides weight loss, boosting your metabolic rate will improve your energy, accelerate healing and improve your overall immune function.

And finally, as we have already discussed, coconut oil is incredibly good for your heart. The truth is this: it is unsaturated fats that are primarily involved in heart disease and too much sugar and processed foods, not the naturally occurring saturated fats, as you have been led to believe. 

Coconut Oil in Your Kitchen

Personally, I use only two oils in my food preparation.

The first, extra-virgin olive oil is the best monounsaturated fat and works great as a salad dressing. However, olive oil should not be used for cooking. Due to its chemical structure, heat makes olive oil susceptible to oxidative damage. So for cooking, I use coconut oil exclusively.

And polyunsaturated fats, which include common vegetable oils such as corn, soy, safflower, sunflower and canola, are absolutely the worst oils to cook with.

Why?

Three primary reasons:

1) Cooking your food in omega-6 vegetable oils produces a variety of very toxic chemicals, as well as forming trans-fats. Frying destroys the antioxidants in oil, actually oxidizing the oil, which causes even worse problems for your body than trans-fats.

2) Most vegetable oils are GM (genetically modified), including more than 90 percent of soy, corn and canola oils.

3) Vegetable oils contribute to the overabundance of damaged omega-6 fats in your diet, throwing offyour omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. Nearly everyone in Western society consumes far too many omega-6 fats — about 100 times more than a century ago — and insufficient omega 3 fats, which contributes to numerous chronic degenerative diseases.

There is only one oil that is stable enough to withstand the heat of cooking, and that’s coconut oil. So, do yourself a favor and ditch all those “healthy oil wannabes,” and replace them with a large jar of fresh, organic, heart-supporting coconut oil.

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2 thoughts on “The Importance of Healthy Fats

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